How to Ask for a Referral

Satisfied clients will let their friends and associates know about you, but you must let them know that you both want and accept referrals.

Assuming the project went well, your customer is in the best frame of mind to provide you with the names of other prospects who might be in the market for your services.


The approach is simple: a short time after the project is complete, call your customer and say, “I wanted to call and make sure you were happy with the way I handled your project.” No doubt, the customer will say, “yes.” At that time, it is appropriate for you to then say: “Mrs. Smith,

I’m glad to hear that you were pleased with my services. I’m sure you’d want your business associates to be helped just as well as you were. Is there a friend that you think I could help who might need my services?” If Mrs. Smith says she doesn’t know of someone at this time, just ask her to refer you to her friends in the future.

What do you do if Mrs. Smith is not happy with your service? Obviously, your first step is to find out what went wrong and quickly do what you can to turn her into a satisfied customer. My advice: go one or two steps beyond “satisfaction” and add additional services or benefits to your initial offer.

A Thank You note to Mrs. Smith after the sale and certainly after any referrals from her will go a long way to cementing your relationship and opening the door to more referrals in the future.

from Anna Burris and Julian Bush at

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